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News Release: Mike Bloomberg names Portland winner in Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge

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(Oct. 17, 2018) Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced Portland as a winning city in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million program that will accelerate 20 ambitious cities’ efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for residents.

Through the Climate Challenge – which is part of Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative, a suite of more than $200 million in investments to strengthen city halls and advance critical policies – the City of Portland is accepted into a two-year acceleration program, will be provided powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help meet or beat the City’s near-term carbon reduction goals.

American Cities Climate Challenge logoBloomberg Philanthropies selected Portland as a winning city because of its innovative and ambitious climate action plans to reduce air pollution and city-wide emissions with specific projects aimed at reforming their respective transportation and buildings sectors, areas which are typically responsible for 90 percent of all citywide emissions and are areas over which mayors have significant authority. Bloomberg Philanthropies also recognizes Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly for their commitment to ambitious climate action and securing a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment and economy for their citizens.

"Cities are helping to keep America moving forward on climate change despite the lack of leadership from Washington, and this challenge was designed to help innovative cities reach their goals,” said Mike Bloomberg. “We were looking for cities with ambitious and realistic plans to cut emissions in ways that improve people’s lives, and mayors committed to getting the job done. Each of these winning cities brings those ingredients to the table - and we’re looking forward to working with them and seeing what they can accomplish."

“Portland has a long and proud history of leading on environmental initiatives,” Mayor Wheeler said. “We’re excited and honored to be a recipient of the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge grant. With these resources, we’ll be able to develop and implement policies and programs that will keep Portland at the forefront of city leadership on climate issues. Now more than ever, this type of action at the city level is necessary if we are to seriously address the important and pressing issue of climate change.”

“The Portland Bureau of Transportation and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability deserve credit for winning a highly competitive application process to become a Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge Leadership City," Eudaly said. "I am looking forward to working with the Bloomberg team to reduce carbon pollution in our transportation system by managing congestion and making walking, biking, and using public transportation more attractive, safe options. Bloomberg’s support, combined with the City of Portland’s ongoing work and community-based initiatives like the Portland Clean Energy Fund, will enable us invest in innovative strategies that will improve our economy and our health as well as demonstrate how cities can lead the fight against climate change.”

The Portland Bureau of Transportation and the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability are the two agencies that will receive the grant and technical assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Winners of the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge will be provided robust technical assistance and a support package valued at up to $2.5 million per city. Portland plans to use this support to reduce climate pollution in transportation and promote renewable energy use throughout the city.

Bloomberg Philanthropies will work the City to achieve the following actions by 2020:

  • Manage congestion in the Central City with zero growth in single-occupant vehicle trips, expanding incentives such as the Transportation Wallet, that make it easier for all Portlanders to walk, bike or take public transport instead of drive;
  • Use apps and other new data sources to provide analysis and evaluation of the City's upcoming public transit and bicycle infrastructure investments;
  • Implement performance-based parking pricing and prioritize curb parking spaces to reduce congestion by encouraging higher-occupancy trips, such as public transit and carpools that use ride-sharing services;
  • Ensure City buildings are highly efficient and powered by clean, renewable energy, in order to reach our goal of all facilities being carbon-free by 2030;
  • Support the development of community-owned renewable energy projects like large solar arrays, especially within Portland’s low-income communities and communities of color.

As Climate Challenge winners, the 20 cities will be accepted into a two-year acceleration program with powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help them meet – or beat – their near-term carbon reduction goals. These resources include a philanthropy-funded team member to facilitate the development and passage of high impact policies, training for senior leadership to assist with implementation of their proposed climate plans, and citizen engagement support to maximize community buy-in.

Building on the America’s Pledge initiative, which aims to keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement, the Climate Challenge underscores Bloomberg’s dedication to action as this investment will translate city commitments into tangible climate achievements. Bloomberg will announce the remaining winners of the Climate Challenge on a rolling basis throughout the fall, highlighting the ongoing, ambitious, and impactful actions cities are taking every day to address the growing threat of climate change.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in 480 cities in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $702 million. For more information, please visitwww.bloomberg.org or follow us on FacebookInstagramSnapchat, and Twitter.

About the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge

Recognizing that cities account for more than 70% of global carbon emissions, the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge was formed with an investment of $70 million to enhance the work already being done by mayors across the U.S. and to support cities in the fight against climate change. The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge aims to go beyond the theoretical and scale up high-impact urban climate solutions that are already proven to succeed - specifically, from the buildings and transportation sectors. World-class partners for the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge will be led by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Delivery Associates. The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge is part of Mike Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative, a suite of more than $200 million in investments to strengthen city halls and advance critical policies.

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The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation